Part 1 – This was me at the Mazza Museum on March 1st. It was a lovely day. Crowds enjoyed what this museum had to offer. It was their last open house before the Coronavirus shut everything down.
Mazza isn’t an ordinary museum. It’s extraordinary! It’s a museum just for picture book illustrations. I am not, nor will I ever illustrate them so I was thrilled to be invited to share NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
I brought my wind tunnel along. These kids were kind enough to get their pictures taken. I wish I had one when the wind tunnel was in action. Those kids were so excited to see it work. It was that way with every single kid who stopped to see it in action.
Part 2 – This is my wind tunnel on the dining room table. It’s almost as long as the table is. When kids stopped for a demonstration, I had them look at the red shape first, then peek in the window.
Look in the window below, and you’ll see a model airplane. It has a stick running through it. That’s to hold the model in place. It’s anchored in a cup of sand.
The red shape is a digital scale. When kids came over, I turned it on. The scale always started at 10 units, the weight of the sand/model. Then I reset it to 0, and took the kids to the end of the tunnel.
Not the one with the fan. I took them to the opposite end. It’s open. You can look down the tunnel past the model and into those black tubes. They’re really used in golf bags. You stick your club inside to protect them.
I had them look down the tunnel, then we went back to the scale. I told them to watch its numbers as I turned on the fan.
Every single time I turned on the fan, the number dropped below 0. Sometimes it went down to -2, to -5, even to -10. Then I asked the key question – what happened? How could the plane weigh less after I turned on the fan? The weight of the plane and sand never changed.
Part 3 – The answer in one word – LIFT! Did you figure it out? A first-grader did. He said, “The wind lifted the plane.” He saw it and explained it in simple clear words.
Here’s mine. It’s a little more complicated – when the plane lifted up, it shifted its weight up too, so the scale went down. It was an example of Newton’s law of motion in action – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The plane goes up, and the scale goes down. Simple physics!
I think Neil would have loved seeing another wind tunnel in action. I hope I learned enough from researching Neil and wind tunnels to do a good job answering that first grader in March, and to write about it tonight. Wouldn’t it be lovely if that first grader, or a blog reader, wound up working in the space program? What a lovely dream!
Part 4 – The Mazza set up. I came in and got my station ready first. Then I took a walk around the building to see what the museum was going to offer its guests. There was an amazing range of activities,
I couldn’t leave my station, but I saw so many kids and their parents around me having a wonderful day, thanks to the Mazza volunteers.
This activity came from The University of Findlay College of Sciences. They took up half the room beside me with table after table set up like these two. Whenever I peeked over, I saw families engaged in science experiments. My only regret – I didn’t get to ask or try out their activities. I was curious before the kids got there, and I was still curious after they left.
This is a Rainy Day Craft, thanks to the University of Findlay Japanese Student. It’s so simple and cute. I think I could make it at home. I bet you could too!
This was one of the most popular places to visit, Pawsible Angels Therapy Dogs. Who doesn’t love dogs, and these two were so well trained!
Yum! They had snacks too! Rain drops and ice. And books, of course!
Mazza is a Picture Book Illustration Museum.
And best of all, I’m not an illustrator, but Neil and I were welcome too!
It was a thrilling day!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!